Correlations between motor performance and cognitive functions in children born < 1250 g at school age.

Child Development Centre, University Children's Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.
Neuropediatrics (Impact Factor: 1.19). 02/2006; 37(1):6-12. DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-923840
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Very low birth weight born children manifest a higher prevalence of motor and cognitive impairments than term children. Seventy-four prospectively enrolled children born < 1250 g underwent testing of motor (Zurich neuromotor assessment ZNA: timed motor performances and associated movements) and cognitive functions (Kaufman-ABC) at age six years. Children with cerebral palsy or mental retardation were excluded. Adaptive motor tasks (pegboard and dynamic balance) and visuomotor cognitive functions were specifically impaired, and a distinct correlation pattern between motor and cognitive abilities was detected. The adaptive fine motor task (pegboard) correlated with visuomotor functions of the Kaufman-ABC ("triangles", r = 0.35; "matrix analogies", r = 0.39), while pure motor tasks of the ZNA (repetitive, alternating, and sequential movements) did not in spite of impaired motor performance. Timed motor performance below the 10th percentile correlated strongly with cognitive delay (IQ < 85: adaptive fine motor: OR 6.0 [95% CI] 4.7-7.3; adaptive gross motor: OR 7.0 [CI 5.6-8.4]; static balance: OR 9.6 [CI 8.2-11.0]). In conclusion, motor deficits in children born < 1250 g without severe disabilities correlate with specific cognitive impairments, in particular of the visuomotor domain. The correlation pattern may indicate specific dysfunction in visuomotor transformation, the intermediate process between visual-perceptual input and motor output. Early assessment of both motor and cognitive functions using standardized assessment tools is important to determine the extent and combination of specific developmental disturbances and to tailor therapeutic intervention.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Studies have shown important associations between low birth weight (BW), a variety of morbidities, and reduced motor performance. Using a twin sample, this study aimed to verify (a) the magnitude of the association between BW and neuromotor performance (NMP); (b) if the NMP of twins is within the normal range; and (c) if monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins' intra-pair similarities in NMP are of equal magnitude. We sampled 191 twins (78 MZ; 113 DZ distinguished through their DNA), aged 8.9 ± 3.1 years with an average BW of 2246.3 ± 485.4 g; gestational characteristics and sports practices were also assessed. The Zurich Neuromotor test battery, comprising five main tasks, was used; Twins NMP assessments were highly reliable (intra-rater reliability: 0.76-0.99). BW accounted for up to 11% of the total variance of NMP across the zygosity groups. Between 32.7% and 76.9% of children were below the 10th percentile for tasks requiring timing of performance (purely motor task, adaptive fine motor task, dynamic, and static balance), while less than 6.4% of children were below the 10th percentile for associated movements. MZ twins NMP intraclass correlations showed greater similarity than DZ twins in three of the five tasks, suggesting the importance of genetic factors in NMP.
    Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports 09/2013; · 3.21 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: to check the emergence of isolated and combined symbolic schemes as well as their respective subtypes in 20 very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) preterm children, 20 children with Down syndrome (DS), and 20 typically developing (TD) children. METHODS: all subjects were followed up monthly during a six-month period, starting from the initial assessment, when they were placed at the fifth phase of the sensorimotor period, using the Protocol for Expressive Language and Cognitive Development Observation – reviewed version (PELCDO-r). Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. RESULTS: results revealed that isolated and combined symbolic schemes emerged in a similar way in all groups, although DS and VLBW preterm children showed slower rhythm of development when compared to TD children. The qualitative analysis, concerning the analysis of symbolic schemes’ diversity and complexity showed that VLBW preterm children showed poorer performance when compared to children with DS and TD children, also showing specific difficulties as for the use of symbolic schemes applied to non-figurative objects, that is, concerning the representation’s construction by means of an arbitrary significant. CONCLUSION: these data reinforce the importance of following the emergence and development of isolated and combined symbolic schemes in these children, with the objective of monitoring and stimulating their development, aiming to minimize the effects of cognitive deficits and favor language development.
    Revista CEFAC 06/2010; 12(3):400-411.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An established tool for the assessment of motor performance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) is the Movement-ABC-2 (M-ABC-2). The Zurich Neuromotor Assessment (ZNA) is also widely used for the evaluation of children's motor performance, but has not been compared with the M-ABC-2. Fifty-one children (39 males) between 5 and 7 years of age with suspected DCD were assessed using the M-ABC-2 and the ZNA. Rank correlations between scores of different test components were calculated. The structure of the tests was explored using canonical-correlation analysis. The correlation between total scores of the two motor tests was reasonable (0.66; p<0.001). However, ZNA scores were generally lower than those of M-ABC-2, due to poor performance in the fine motor adaptive component and increased contralateral associated movements (CAM). The canonical-correlation analysis revealed that ZNA measures components like pure motor skills and CAM that are not represented in the M-ABC-2. Furthermore, there was also no equivalent for the aiming and catching items of the M-ABC-2 in ZNA. The two tests measure different motor characteristics in children with suspected DCD and, thus, can be used complementary for the diagnosis of the disorder.
    Research in Developmental Disabilities 08/2014; 35(11):3148-3155. · 3.40 Impact Factor


Available from